These are tough times. The pandemic and lockdown are driving some of us to the edge, and thinking about our pets, more so. To help our readers cope with their pet’s anxieties, we are making sure to help your pet thrive while you’re both stuck indoors.This quarantine has imposed a lot of guidelines, and while it’s a necessary step, it also poses some problems. For pet owners, the issue is how they can continue caring for their furry friends while staying safe and following the same.
First things first, if you are at home with your pets, trust us, they are as happy as they can be. Your existence is all they have ever wanted to showcase some naughtiness, some tantrums and a little mess they make on a daily basis for you to clean after them, scold them and then apologise and give them endless snuggles. However, there are a lot of things that need attention and care.
TAKING THEM OUT FOR A WALK
Well, who doesn’t miss those long walks in the neighbourhood? Since these are testing times, always take them out for a walk within guidelines set by your local government and make sure to always keep them on a leash. It is also advisable to maintain a distance between other humans and other dogs. Don’t let anyone touch your pet. Humans must wear mask and hand gloves.Moreover, you should avoid letting your dog sniff, lick, or eat anything on the ground or grass. This is not only for this outbreak period, but other times as well, to prevent your dog from picking up virus and bacteria, or swallowing foreign bodies.
WASHING YOUR HANDS AND THEIR PAWS
Currently there is no evidence that pets are affected by COVID-19, or that they can transmit the virus to other humans. However, if an infected person touches, sneezes or coughs on a dog, the virus could temporarily contaminate them.During this time,you should maintain good hygiene practices. Wash your dog’s paws often, especially after every little walk and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and hot water before and after you feed them or touch them or their toys. It’s also a good idea to try to avoid them licking your face and sharing your food with them. Don’t worry, this is a temporary care and it is the least we can do for both our as well as our pet’s safety and well-being.
EXERCISE IS A MUST
In your absence, your pet gets the time to rest and sleep. However, he always wants to be active and around you when you are always there to look at his little mischiefs. Hence, a proper sleep cycle is required, which sometimes gets ignored. With proper exercises, your pet will most definitely get proper sleep.
Give them plenty of physical exercises such as walks, games, taking the stairs, etc. If you are indoors and they need exercise to expel some of their unbounding energy, opt for entertaining them with toys. You can provide mind-stimulation games such as wobblers or filling a Kong toy with dog friendly peanut butter, some puzzle games, hide and seek games and what not!
KEEPING A CHECK
While you are at it, do not forget to keep a check on their paws and ears for ticks. Make sure you clean your dog’s paws with alcohol free baby or puppy wipes. Clean their ears and comb them regularly. It’s summer season so it unfortunately calls for a lot of ticks. It is best if you get the spot-on solution from your local pet shop which can work just fine for 28 days.
PET FOOD HABITS
As much as it is important to feed your pet their normal food, it is also mandatory to take necessary precautions and plan ahead of time. With the ongoing lockdown and uncertainty, at some point, if you might feel that you may be unable to leave the house, therefore you should ensure that you have enough pet food for it to go through one or two weeks.
Somehow if you are unable to get your usual brand of their food and you wish to change their food, it is important to introduce this very slowly by mixing small amounts of the new food with the old and gradually increase this over a week until you have fully swapped over. It is not advisable to shift from one food to other too quickly since it can be problematic to their health.
Moreover, if your pet is on a home cooked diet, make sure to cook the food thoroughly. Have your pets consume their food shortly after cooking. As the food cools, its bacteria count will increase over time. Wash their food and water bowls regularly with detergent.
A PROPER ROUTINE
Lastly, keeping them entertained and stimulated is the key to cope up well during these testing times. A great way to do it is to start training them a little every day following a routine. Now is a great time to carry on your dog training at home and teach them some new tricks because staying at home doesn’t have to be a drag, right?Keeping them active is a must.
Also, try to ensure that you and your pet have a regular routine. It is necessary to make sure that they get up and go to bed at roughly the same time each day and that they have regular times for feeding and playing. This will help them know what to expect from their day. Try to encourage your pet to have some regular time and quiet periods when they are left by themselves. This will prepare them for when you go back to work and leave them for short periods.
Let’s ensure that these days with our pet looks more like a vacation and less like lockdown. If you have a pet, there is no better blessing than that because they help us relieve stress and help maintain normalcy especially during these times when it is easy to lose our cool. The love we get from our pets is unconditional and as pet-parents we owe them the same courtesy, unconditional love and care.